Center for Accessible Technology & ATT Host Access Hackathon

On the weekend of October 25th, 2014 the Center for Accessible Technology (CforAT), in conjunction with AT&T, hosted an "Accessibility Hackathon" at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley.

For the uninitiated, a "hackathon" is an event where programmers, developers and designers come together to create teams and intensively work to develop new software products - all int hes pan of 24 hours.  The results are then judged, and prizes are awarded based on the most innovative and marketable products developed.

At the CforAT Hack, some of the products developed included:

  • An app for assisting blind people in locating products while shopping
  • An app that ties into existing door opening technology to allow people to use proximity to open automatic doors (instead of having to hit a button)
  • An app for identifying "real world hazards"
  • An app for checking in on elderly or frail family members, and one for assisting people dealing with stressful life situations
  • An app to enable someone to use devices completely hands free by activating the voice recognition features without having ti hit buttons

Perhaps the most important outcome of the hackathon was that these young developers, programmers and designers were all exposed to accessibility as an issue they can work on in their careers.  Everyone at the event was struck by how quickly new products can be developed, and what an enormous impact some of these technologies may have on the lives of people with disabilities. 

A schedule of events and details may still be up at the signup.

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